When Awarepoint was established in 2002, our founders recognized that active RFID technologies had applicability for addressing a wide range of potential needs and buyers in numerous industries – from manufacturing, to healthcare, military applications, building management, security, and much more.
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Awarepoint started in healthcare and as a Wi-Fi company. Our first user was Naval Medical Center San Diego, who was looking for a solution to help them respond to mass casualty and disaster scenarios. This deployment was an amazing proving ground for us, and quickly helped us realize the challenges and limitations of Wi-Fi use for real-time locating. By 2005, the company altered technology direction to ZigBee mesh networking. Conceived around 1998, ZigBee networks were acknowledged by engineers who realized that both Wi-Fi and Bluetooth were unsuitable for many applications. In particular, many engineers saw a need for self-organizing ad-hoc digital radio networks that would not interfere with existing WLAN infrastructure, but could play nice with them, were easy to install, and virtually set up and maintained themselves through self-forming, self-calibrating, self-healing properties.
Recognizing that business success demands focus, Awarepoint quickly leveraged its experience with Naval Medical Center San Diego, and the background of one of our founding members, the notable Admiral Harold Koenig, M.D., to focus on developing RTLS to address the asset management challenges faced by hospitals.
Dr. Koenig retired in 1998 as Surgeon General of the Navy and Chief, Bureau of Medicine and Surgery with the permanent rank of Vice Admiral after a 32-year Navy career. He attended the U.S. Naval Academy, Brigham Young University and Baylor University College of Medicine. Today, he continues to serve Awarepoint in the capacity of Chief Medical Officer.
By 2007, Awarepoint had completed significant pilot installs in hospitals in Southern California, and confirmed ZigBee mesh networking technology as a viable commercial application for Real-time Location Solutions in hospitals. Awarepoint’s Board of Directors quickly recognized the market potential, and the need to establish a management team to commercialize this success. By 2009, with its patented technologies, Awarepoint was providing enterprise Real-Time Awareness Solutions to hospitals that include prestigious teaching institutions, premiere independents, military facilities and members of major integrated delivery networks.
We share the vision of today’s most forward looking healthcare professionals who recognize that “connected health” strategies have the potential to revolutionize the quality and economics of healthcare. In fact, we attracted the attention of the remarkable Dr. Dennis O’Leary, who today serves as our Chief Strategy Officer. Dr. O’Leary served a 21-year tenure as President at The Joint Commission. During that time, O’Leary led the successful transformation of its accreditation process to focus on actual organization performance in the provision of patient care. In 2000, he was identified by Modern Healthcare as “one of the 25 most influential leaders in health care”. O’Leary earned his medical degree from Cornell University Medical College and his bachelor’s degree from Harvard College.
In 2009, given its traction as a provider of asset management solutions, and the strength and applicability of its technologies, Awarepoint recognized the time was right to expand the definition of our target market from asset management for healthcare to technology partners who recognize the value and role of active RFID and RTLS, and the role these will play in both asset management, patient flow and the new generation of connected health solutions.
We look forward to sharing the next steps of our evolution with you here on this blog.